Hey Grads & Soon to Be Grads…Let’s Chat About Social Media

Hi Again Soon-to-be-Grads,

Now that we’ve discussed your resume, let’s have a chat about LinkedIn and your other social media profiles.

Here’s the scenario:

You’ve applied for a job and…voila! The recruiter or hiring manager likes what they see on paper and have an interest in potentially speaking with you. Well done! 9 times out of 10, their next move will be to look you up on LinkedIn. Should they not find much of interest there or simply want to do a little more probing into your social media presence or personal life, you can pretty much bet that they’ll try and take a peek at your other social media profiles. What does this mean for you? Depending on what you have posted out there in the vast world of cyber space, they’ll either come away with a.) being super impressed, b.) feeling neutral about you, or c.) being majorly turned-off. At this point, we want to make sure they are either option a or b. And preferably, option a.

Let’s start with LinkedIn. First off, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create one. As LinkedIn is a professional networking site and community, this is the place to highlight school achievements, work history, project work, and volunteer work. Key word here…professional.

Here are a few basic tips to building your profile:

  1. Make sure your profile picture is somewhat conservative or professional looking. It doesn’t have to be a formal headshot (although, those are nice to have) and you can absolutely show a little personality, but at the very least avoid the car-selfie, the cutsie Bitmoji, or the cropped-out photo of you with your friends at 2am.
  2. Create a compelling headline that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
  3. Don’t be afraid to include detail. Build your profile as you would build your resume. Showcase your education, achievements, highlight any work experience you’ve had, and be sure to include skills and keywords relevant to your career goal.
  4. Speaking of skills and keywords…don’t skip out on the Skills & Endorsements section on your profile. By selecting skills and adding them to your profile, others can endorse you for those skills. Furthermore, those listed skills are searchable keywords used by recruiters and hiring managers, so be thorough!
  5. Ask for recommendations. Reach out to teachers, mentors, bosses/former managers, etc. and ask them to write a brief LinkedIn recommendation for you. Recruiters and hiring managers will read these! They matter.
  6. If you have an online portfolio, work samples, or a website, be sure to include links to those on your profile.
  7. Let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities by selecting that option in the Career Interests section on your profile dashboard. As recruiters are searching for candidates, they can filter job-seekers by those only “open to new opportunities” and your profile will appear in a more-narrow pool of talent.
  8. Spellcheck. Spellcheck! Review it twice and review it again.

Once your profile is up to date and ready to go, start connecting with and following people. Be active on LinkedIn. Share content, comment (professionally, of course) on articles, share work that you’re doing, or new skills that you’re gaining. Keep building your network and consider joining LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups are great places to engage in professional discussion, keep up-to-date on industry trends and information, and maybe even spot relevant job openings.

For more information from LinkedIn on building a student/recent grad profile click HERE.

Moving on to other social media platforms. As Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are viewed as more personal sites, while you are job-seeking, consider making your accounts private and update any relevant privacy settings. If you are keen to keep your accounts public, then consider removing any questionable pictures or content and be mindful about what you share and comment on. The last thing you want to have is a potential employer peeking at your profiles and suddenly being turned off by something they might see. Should they see something that they deem inappropriate or negative, it could be the difference between you and another candidate for a job. This happens. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Now that you’ve got your resume up to date and have a solid profile up on LinkedIn, it’s time to consider connecting with a recruiter. Or maybe even becoming a recruiter yourself! Stay tuned to our blog for information on how working with a recruiter can be instrumental in jump-starting your career and learn more about recruiting as an exciting career option.